Friday, May 29, 2009

aubrey beardsley

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley 
21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898
An English illustrator and author.  Aubrey Beardsley was the 
most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned 
for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica,
which were the main themes of his later work.  Some of his 
drawings, inspired by Japanese shunga, featured 
enormous genitalia. His most famous erotic illustrations were 
on themes of history and mythology.


Beardsley illustrated Oscar Wilde's play Salomé - the play 
eventually premiered in Paris in 1896.  He also produced 
extensive illustrations for books and magazines (e.g. for a 
deluxe edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur) 
and worked for magazines like The Savoy and The Studio. 
Beardsley also wrote Under the Hill, an unfinished erotic tale 
based loosely on the legend of Tannhäuser.  
Beardsley's emphasis of the erotic element is present in many 
of his drawings, but nowhere as boldly as in his illustrations for 
Lysistrata which were done for a privately printed edition at a 
time when he was totally out of favor with polite society.